Yemen’s Central Bank recently disclosed reports that the nation’s inflation rate had dropped to 7.3 percent during the first half of the current year, down from 8.5 percent in the corresponding period of the year before.
The report also stated that total reserves holdings of the bank grew to $3.1 billion in the first half of 2001, up from $2.8 billion in the first half of 2000, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily.
Yemen's foreign debt reached $4.8 billion at the end of March 2001, down two percent from December 2000. Yemen's internal debt fell by 39.5 percent from $997 million in December to $604 million in June. As a result, the national exchange rate of the Yemen rial stabilized and its balance of payment improved.
The recent positive signs will be welcomed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had expressed concern over Yemen's rising inflation rate in the past. In 1997, inflation stood at five percent rising to over 11 percent in 2000. The IMF stated that economic progress would be possible for Yemen if the government took strong measures to limit corruption and minimize investment obstacles.
Since 1995 the Yemeni government has been following a program sponsored by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to lower subsidies and privatize state industries. As a result, Yemen’s total gross domestic product (GDP) increased 6.5 percent by the end of 2000, reaching $124 million. — (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )